How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is choosing the right pest control company for the job. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in California need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also be members of certain professional organizations. Membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Pleasanton. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the experience necessary to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, calling a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like the size of your house, your location, and the type of pest being treated.
You can take into consideration whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to supply you with information about all pesticides they plan on using.
Companies looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.